Welcom to AVF – Vacuum Wood Tech

“Our mission is to become the preferred solution for green construction. We want to enable carbon-neutral and weather-resistant construction in all environments and climates.” – Pasi Herranen, Founder & CTO of Vacuum Insulation Solutions Oy.

VacuumWood.tech is a green construction technology spin-off company from Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland. The company aims to offer the most sustainable, energy-efficient and resilient construction module technology for various applications.

The technology combines wood engineering with vacuum technology. This enables an extremely moisture-resistant modular construction solution that is energy-efficient, carbon-negative, and durable. VW.techs’ technology can serve a wide range of applications, for example, industrial and architectural buildings. The solution is a perfect fit for vertical farming!

Vacuum Wood Tech combines sustainability, energy efficiency and resiliency into one package. “The unique combination of wood and vacuum tech means that we are among the few companies that can offer extremely moisture-resistant bio-based construction solutions.” Pasi Herranen said. “This means, for example, that we can build carbon-neutral and extremely durable vertical farm buildings of any size anywhere in the world. Actually, our solution has solved all the aspects limiting the lifecycle of wood material (water, fire, UV, insects, lifetime of the building’s purpose, and high temperature), which enables our module to reach extremely long lifecycles.” Every module is equipped with IoT wood moisture content sensors, and the well-being of every module is remotely monitored. If too much moisture gets into the wooden structure over time, they can remove it by vacuum drying, and the module is again as dry as it was when leaving the factory. The company has already reached the maintenance interval of over two years with all the pilot modules, and some of the pilot modules seem to have reached the maintenance interval of over 10 years. Due to the moisture removal feature, the module is suitable for flat roof construction with high load-carrying capacity. This means a solar plant can easily be installed on the facility’s roof. They also integrate a highly reflective outer roof surface into the module, so even double-sided solar panels can be utilized. One panel would produce around 20% more electricity (the value depends on the global location). If a solar plant is not installed, the highly reflective and thermally emissive roof surface enables a cool roof feature for your building, automatically lowering your cooling demand. The roof temperature is as important a factor here as the insulation level of your building envelope. The module can be designed with almost any range of insulation levels, and in cool countries like Finland, the vertical farm can be designed so that LEDs heat the facility year-round -even during the coldest winter days. This is something they have already achieved with our pilot facility. In addition, our modules come with extremely reflective inside surfaces to maximise the artificial light use efficiency. Our modules don’t emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) either, which is extremely important in vertical farming due to the minimized ventilation levels. Lastly, the solution has a beautiful wooden facade, which is very urban fitting and can be used in cities with pleasure.

On top of sustainability, Vacuum Technology enables Vacuum Wood Tech to dynamically control the insulation level of our modules, meaning that they can adapt to any environment and minimise the need for heat and cooling energy. In a hot climate, the insulation could be turned off during the cooler night, and the building would be cooling much more energy efficiently. The StartUp is piloting the dynamic insulation properties as we speak, and our goal is to be capable of offering it to our customers by the end of the year. Vacuum Wood Tech focuses on large-scale warehouse-type buildings and wants to help its customers minimise their carbon footprint and electricity bills. In the mid-term future, we also target the residential and office buildings segment.

Vacuum Wood Tech is interested in collaborating with farmers, vertical farming tech developers and property owners interested in integrating vertical/urban farming into their premises. The first pilot vertical farm has been up and running since 2021 as a research station for the largest Finnish plant research institute, Natural Resources Institute Finland. Vacuum Wood Tech is extremely interested in joint development pilot projects with other companies, as we believe that we can best serve customers in vertical farming by combining their sustainable and resilient construction tech with the best vertical farming tech solutions out there. The startup company is also currently on a funding round, so investor contacts are also of great interest. They even have new ideas for cooking for racks and climate control in vertical farming!

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Credit: Vacuum Wood.Tech